Independent trade union[s] in the 1970s

Maree, Johann
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The aim of this paper is to examine democracy and oligarchy in the independent trade unions in Transvaal and the Western Province General Workers Union in the 1978s. The unions considered in the Transvaal comprise the Federation of South African Trade Unions (F0SATU) and the Consultative Committee of Black Trade Unions. The Consultative unions consisted of the Commercial Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (CCAWUSA) and a large proportion of the present Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA). The period this paper covers commences from the foundation of the unions in the early 1970s up to the second half of 1979 for the Transvaal unions and up to the end of 1988 for the Western Province General Workers' Union. The paper is divided into two major sections. The first section deals with theories of democracy and oligarchy in trade unions and starts off by considering Michels' iron law of oligarchy. His iron law is evaluated in the light of two centuries of experience in the British trade unions as analysed mainly by the Webbs, Clegg and Hyman. After deriving a theory of democracy and oligarchy in trade unions based on the historical material, the paper moves on to the second section which examines democracy and oligarchy in the independent trade unions in the 1970s. The stage the unions reached at the end of the period is evaluated and some conclusions are finally drawn.
African Studies Seminar series. Paper presented August 1983
Labor unions, Black. South Africa. History. 20th century , Labor unions. South Africa